Friday, 31 August 2007

Newsletter Issue 136, August 2007



Sam Young Newsletter

Issue 136, August 2007
Hi guys,
Read about Europe, the UK and Japan's drive for Life Story Labelling.
Having trouble finding what you want on Google and Yahoo? Then check out Boolean Search Syntax below. 
Don't forget, if you want to be taken off my mailing list, click here to send me a reply e-mail and I will remove your name.

Life Story Labelling

Consumers, governments and business leaders seem to be acting on mounting pressure to confront excessive consumption, pollution, national carbon footprints, air miles, environmental costs and to uphold the Kyoto protocol.
Carbon footprinting is becoming a household term in first world consumer societies. Consumers' are wanting to find out about the origins of a product before they buy, particularly in Europe. Questions no one ever asked a few years ago look like becoming an important facet of the purchasing decision. Consumers now want to know how the product was made, who by, how did it get to its point of sale and what environmental effects it may have after purchasing or on disposal.
At a recent seafood conference in Belgium, the annual Brussels European Seafood Exhibition (ESE), focus was on sustainability, driven by two different groups; environmental lobby groups and the retail trade.
Retailers are demanding the ability to clearly state to their customers that the seafood they are selling is from a certified sustainable source, with some retail buyers now refusing to purchase non-certified product for their retail chains. Wild fish must carry Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) Certification. There is strong demand from UK retailers for farmed fish to also obtain certification, which is currently outside the MSC's mandate. Those countries whose aquaculture farmers are proactive in either persuading the MSC to broaden their scope or who set up independent certification will have the inside track to key European retail buyers.
So, if printed net weights, use by dates, nutritional breakdowns and content labelling wasn't enough, now most UK retail chains are looking at how they can clearly show customers the production history of goods. Some brands are already experimenting with attaching ‘life story labels' to their products, satisfying consumers who are ready to spend their dosh on what appears to do the least harm.
UK supermarket Tesco plans to introduce carbon footprint labels on all 70,000 products it sells to allow shoppers to compare carbon impacts. Implementation will take a while: the company is currently investigating how to develop a “universally accepted and commonly understood” measuring system.
Increasingly, this requirement for a carbon footprint measure is likely to pit internationally produced goods against local production. Good for local producers as local manufacture may cost less in carbon footprint terms than international production due to clocking up fewer air miles.
However, if you are a Tesco's shopper, will you be able to fairly compare the footprint of outdoors grown Spanish tomatoes to that of British grown diesel-fueled hot-house tomatoes? The agricultural and horticultural lobby in the UK is very, very strong, and would have consumers believe that local is better for the planet. Yet when if you look at all the real impacts, clearly it is not.
It will all come down to how fairly and honestly the measures are. I am sure that getting the mix right will be a long and complicated process, adding more cost to manufacture, and providing we consumers with even more choice.
 

Boolean Search Syntax

While all of us have used Google and Yahoo, not all of us use the best search refinements.
But by using some very easy search syntax, you can create far more powerful searches to help you quickly find exactly what you're looking for.
Entering specific syntax manually into your search query is often much faster than using Google and Yahoo's advanced searching capability. Following are several things you can do to get far better search results:
  1. Encapsulating keywords. To find pages with an exact phrase, enclose the phrase in quotation marks, eg "Kilroy was here"
  2. Include / exclude keywords. Search engines normally omit 'noise words' from queries, such as how, where and I. To include them, put a plus sign immediately in front of them (eg +there). To exclude anything that you don't want, put a minus immediately in front (eg -where)
  3. At this point, your query string would look like this: "Kilroy was here" +there -where
  4. Site-specific search. To limit your search to a specific site, all you need to do is add the site tag to your query string with a full colon, eg "Where's Wally" site:whereswally.com
  5. URL-specific search. Inurl lets you find pages whose URLs contain specific strings of text. This is very useful if you can't remember the entire URL, just part of the URL or the page URL. eg "Where's Wally" inurl:findme
With those tips, you'll get better search results while bypassing loads of useless pages. You can combine any or all of the syntax above to build more complex search queries. But, although these tips work with both Google and Yahoo, they do not work with MSN Live Search. For some reason, Microsoft chose not to implement these options in its new search engine.
Have fun!

'Greenwashing' Facts

Research company Nick Jones & Associates from Auckland have published a few summary facts based on AC Nielsen data from the second-half of 2006, as follows:
Some key facts to consider from the latest “Consumer who Cares” research (Please note that all information is based on all people 10 years and over sourced from Nielsen Media Research Panorama January to June 2006/Nick Jones & Associates Ltd)
  • 1.68 million people have bought a product or service from a company, because it supports a charity or worthy cause
  • 1.52 million people agree that when buying a product or service from a particular company, it is very important to them that the company shows a high level of social and/or environmental responsibility
  • 1.35 million people who have bought a product or service from a company because it supports a charity or worthy cause, even though they are slightly more expensive
  • 1.14 million have purposefully avoided buying a product or service from a specific company, because of concerns about its impact on society or the environment.
Interesting, isn't it? So even though being greener and more community-focused is becoming quite media-trendy, it looks like it is not merely rhetoric. We are apparently walking the talk.

TLAs for SMEs

Here are this newsletter's TLAs for you:
  • DDR, Double Data Rate of usually SDRAM, at double the clock speed of earlier RAM formats.
  • SSD, Solid State Disk. This is a new flash-type of electronic memory that is tipped to take over the mechanical HDDs we currently use in our PCs and laptops

Please feel free to email me with any TLAs that you want to get the bottom (meaning!) of.

Tips, Short+Hot Keys
In this newsletter, we look at some handy ways of changing font size:
  • PowerPoint, Publisher, Word "Decrease the font size" Ctrl & Shift & < (Less Than)
  • PowerPoint, Publisher, Word "Increase the font size" Ctrl & Shift & > (Greater Than)
  • Outlook, PowerPoint, Publisher, Word "Decrease font size of selected text by 1 point" Ctrl & [ (Open Square Bracket)
  • Outlook, PowerPoint, Publisher, Word "Increase font size of selected text by 1 point" Ctrl & ] (Close Square Bracket)
  • Excel, FrontPage, PowerPoint, Publisher, Word "Select the toolbar Font Size field" Ctrl & Shift & P
  • Word "Shrink Font" Ctrl & Shift & , (comma)
  • Word "Grow Font" Ctrl & Shift & . (full stop)

Hot Linx
As mentioned in the "Greenwashing" Facts article, you can get research in New Zealand about customers who care, at Nick Jones' website, http://www.njassociates.co.nz/
Tesco's supermarket in the UK walk the talk about carbon emissions. You can check out their carbon footprint report card at http://www.tesco.com/climatechange/carbonFootprint.asp
Download the latest OED Communications Outlook Report (NB: Read Only) from the OECD website at http://213.253.134.43/oecd/pdfs/browseit/9307021E.PDF
Tempted to buy a Tony Robbins book? Then read one Miami Herald journalist's view of his seminars at http://web.archive.org/web/20021203130105/http:/www.lynxfeather.net/nest/humor/2002/alteredstates.html

                                Catch you again soon!! E-mail your suggestions to me here

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